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Sidney 11th July 2005 11:45

India to take pole position in games development market
INDIA MAY BECOME a genuine player in the video games industry, according to a report.
Rajesh Rao, the CEO of Bangalore games company Dhruva Interactive, told mercurynews he reckons jobs will be impacted with the outsourcing of videogame development, especially since making games in India is around 30-40% cheaper than making them in the US, after travel and communication costs. However, it may be a while before India's games companies - others including Lakshya Digital and India Games - become a true force to be reckoned with seeing as India is approximately three years behind countries like Korea and China when it comes to making games.

The country supposedly has a goldmine of developers, willing to work both cheap and hard for Western companies, and for the more ambitious even producing their own titles marketed towards an Indian audience (here's hoping for an interactive Lagaan, a movie about a fateful game of cricket). Dhruva Interactive, a Bangalore games company, has done work with well-known gaming companies such as Atari, Codemasters and Microsoft - just recently, Dhruva Interactive worked on 85 of the vehicles in Microsoft's Forza Motorsport on the Xbox. The company has also worked on high profile titles such as Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible 2, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, the well known TOCA series and also, ahem, Geoff Grammond's Grand Prix 4.

Dhruva isn't happy with just working for others, though. They've got their own game all set for launch later this year called "Pool on the Net" - not just Dhruva's first game, but also the world's first carpooling simulator. Actually, it's just regular old pool, except on the internet. Because social games like pool are all the better when you cut out actual human interaction. Good luck to Dhruva!

Games clearly are taken seriously in India: according to a poll released by GMI, 30% of those polled in India said they spend half of their leisure time playing videogames, and that's compared to around 24% in the States.

Lakshya Digital bigwig Dib Chaudhuri really does think India has a good chance at infiltrating the games market: "There's a lot of opportunity," he told mercurynews. He believes that soon, India will have "an ecosystem of companies". And, to end with a cliche, whether it will, well, we'll just have to wait and see.

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